Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Remember the Disappeared

Sunday 30th August marks the International Day of the Disappeared

Ratify the Convention against Enforced Disappearance NOW!

The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2006.

We only need 7 more countries to ratify the Convention in order for it to enter into force.

Sunday 30th August marks the International Day of the Disappeared

In El Salvador, Ernestina and Erlinda Serrano Cruz were seven and three years old, respectively, when they disappeared on 2 June 1982.

In Guatemala, 200,000 people disappeared or were extra-judicially executed during the internal armed conflict of 1960 – 1996.

These are just a few examples of the thousands of people who have been victims of enforced disappearances around the world. Their family members and friends have no knowledge of their fate.

Stand Together and Remember the Disappeared

Call on governments to ratify the Convention! Join the movement in sending a letter to the countries we are targeting now!


James Balao, an activist working on Indigenous Peoples rights, was forcibly disappeared on 17 September 2008 in Baguio City, Philippines. He was last seen near his home being roughly bundled by armed men into a white van. One of the men who took him shouted at onlookers, and told them not to interfere because they were police officers arresting James. A court has ordered the authorities to reveal where he is, and do no further harm to him, but has not authorised his family to look for him in places of detention. He is one of hundreds of Filipinos who have been forcibly disappeared and have not been found yet .

James, a member of the Indigenous Benguet Ibaloi tribe in the Cordillera region in Northern Philippines, dedicated himself to research and fighting for Indigenous Peoples rights, particularly ancestral land rights. He contributed to the drafting of the Philippines’ Constitution. He is one of the founding members of the Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA), an alliance of local organizations from the different Indigenous tribes in the Cordillera region.

Take action!
Join the call to Surface James Balao and Stop Enforced Disappearances in the Philippines.

Take photos of yourself or with friends, ideally in front of a local landmark to show international solidarity, holding up a message such as: "End Enforced Disappearances -- the world is watching" or "Where is James Balao?"

The photos will be used as part of an international solidarity campaign on the one-year anniversary of James' disappearance. Email photos to or by 31 October 2009.

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